In a ‘leaked’ phone conversation at the end of last week, Barack Obama, claimed that the “rule of law was at risk” because Attorney General Bill Barr’s Department of Justice dared to rectify the great injustice of the case against Gen. Michael Flynn by dismissing the charges.
Barr said there was no legitimate investigation behind the interview of Flynn, that it was a “perjury trap” meant to target him without any criminal rationale for doing so. Barr explained how there was no problem with Flynn’s contact with the Russian ambassador. That the FBI knew everything said on the call and that there was nothing improper said on it.
Obama called this “unprecedented,” falsely claiming that Flynn had been charged with perjury.
“The news over the last 24 hours I think has been somewhat downplayed — about the Justice Department dropping charges against Michael Flynn,” Obama said. “And the fact that there is no precedent that anybody can find for someone who has been charged with perjury just getting off scot-free. That’s the kind of stuff where you begin to get worried that basic — not just institutional norms — but our basic understanding of rule of law is at risk. And when you start moving in those directions, it can accelerate pretty quickly as we’ve seen in other places.”
As we previously reported, Jonathan Turley ripped his argument apart, including observing it had in fact previously been done under the Obama Justice Department.
The Justice Department has dismissed cases in the past including the Stevens case.That was requested by President Obama’s own Attorney General Eric Holder for the same reason: misconduct by prosecutors. It was done before the same judge, Judge Sullivan. How is that for precedent?
— Jonathan Turley (@JonathanTurley) May 9, 2020
So much for unprecedented.
But we also wanted to add a couple of other points and note another parallel.
As he was going out the door, Obama himself pardoned a general in 2017 for pleading guilty to charges of lying to the FBI. Not only that, it was one of his own “team.”
From PJ Media:
Cartwright served as vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under Obama, and was “a key member of Mr. Obama’s national security team in his first term and earned a reputation as the president’s favorite general,” according to the New York Times. Cartwright had leaked classified information regarding Iran’s nuclear program to the media and lied to FBI officials investigating those leaks. He faced up to two years in prison before Obama pardoned him.
General Cartwright left government in 2011. The leak investigation that ensnared him began in June 2012, when David E. Sanger, a reporter for The New York Times, published a book, “Confront and Conceal,” and an article in The Times that described Operation Olympic Games, an American-Israeli covert effort to sabotage Iranian nuclear centrifuges with a computer virus. F.B.I. agents came to believe that General Cartwright had also been a source for a February 2012 Newsweek article that discussed cyberattacks against Iran.
But when F.B.I. agents interviewed the retired general about the book and articles, he initially lied about his discussions with the journalists, according to a government sentencing memo.
The memo said the agents showed the general emails that contradicted his account, and he passed out and was hospitalized. Several days later, when the interview resumed, he changed his account of the discussions.
Cartwright was not charged with leaking but only with lying. But it was obviously a material “lie” to try to deceive the FBI, with an actual real criminal predicate for going after him and no FBI effort to entrap him, unlike the Flynn case.
Obama pardoned someone on his team who did worse than what Flynn was accused of, there wasn’t even any arguable entrapment, but he was an Obama buddy.
On top of all that, we could talk about the kind of “precedent” he set by commuting the sentence an unrepentant terrorist leader of the FALN, a group that bombed and killed Americans.
My friend Joe Connor, whose father was killed by FALN, reminds me that in one of his last official acts, Obama granted clemency to Oscar Lopez Rivera, one of that Marxist terrorist organization’s front-men. Ben Domenech put it well at the time: Lopez
recruited and trained a small army of terrorists to murder his fellow Americans. He built bomb factories. He taught the young and impressionable how to make devices that would kill and maim. . . . When he was put on trial, he admitted to doing all he had been accused of — he showed no remorse.
A little more context for those who may not be familiar with the FALN.
The FALN was responsible for over 130 bombings during this period, including the January 1975 explosion in Manhattan’s historic Fraunces Tavern, which killed four and wounded 63. In October of that year, it set off, all within the span of an hour, 10 bombs in three cities, causing nearly a million dollars in damage. In August 1977, the FALN set off a series of bombs in Manhattan, forcing 100,000 workers to evacuate their offices; one person was killed, and six were injured. In 1979, the group even threatened to blow up the Indian Point nuclear energy facility located north of New York City. It later sent a communiqué warning the U.S. to “remember … that you have never experienced war on your vitals and that you have many nuclear reactors.” In 1980, FALN members stormed the Carter-Mondale election headquarters in Chicago, and the George H.W. Bush campaign headquarters in New York, holding employees there hostage at gunpoint. In 1981, they plotted to kidnap President Reagan’s son Ron. Plainly, the group was deadly serious about its objectives—a free, independent and socialist Puerto Rico—and zealous in its pursuit of them.
Despite the fact that Lopez Rivera refused to show remorse or renounce terrorism, Obama still let the Marxist terrorist out.
Talk about unprecedented….